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Elwood, Roger

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Editor.

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(1943-2007) US author and editor who published a large amount of nonfiction from about 1960, and began his main career, as editor, with a number of reprint Anthologies in the 1960s – though in fact those published under his own name were ghost-edited by Sam Moskowitz; those ostensibly in collaboration with Moskowitz or Vic Ghidalia were packaged by Elwood but not edited by him. Another 1960s venture was his editorship of the very short-lived The Official Munsters Magazine (one undated issue, 1965), a Media Magazine devoted to the Television fantasy sitcom The Munsters (1964-1966).

In the early 1970s he burst into fairly brief prominence when, with indefatigable salesmanship, he sold a huge number of Original Anthologies – more than 50 in all (including a number of short books for young children) – to a wide variety of publishers (it has been suggested that many of these were sold simultaneously, to the dismay of the half-dozen or more publishers all releasing anthologies at the same time). It has been estimated that Elwood alone constituted about a quarter of the total market for sf short stories – though see Mike Ashley's tempered analysis of these claims in Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980 (2007) – and such dominance intensified the negative response to his strictures against any use of Sex and Religion in his anthologies that might be deemed obscene or "permissive" or irreligious according to a conservative Christian understanding of these offences. Notable among his many anthologies were: Future City (anth 1973); Saving Worlds (anth 1973; vt The Wounded Planet 1974) with Virginia Kidd; the Continuum sequence, beginning Continuum 1 (anth 1974), whose four volumes featured eight different four-part series; and Epoch (anth 1975) with Robert Silverberg. Collections edited by Elwood included The Many Worlds of Poul Anderson (coll 1974) and The Many Worlds of Andre Norton (coll 1974).

Elwood was also responsible for the short-lived magazine Odyssey, instigated the Laser Books series of sf adventures from Canada, and edited Starstream Comics (4 issues, 1976). Later, as the oversaturated anthology market contracted, he diversified into editing the sf lines of various publishers – Bobbs-Merrill, Pinnacle and Pyramid – in addition to Laser. As a devout Christian, Elwood also wrote evangelical and inspirational works, and from the late 1980s several fantasy novels that were similarly inspirational in intent, including the Angelwalk sequence – beginning with Angelwalk: A Modern Fable (1988) – and some singletons including The Christening (1989), The Frankenstein Project (1991), Wise One (1991) and Darien: Guardian Angel of Jesus (1994). [MJE/JC]

see also: Children in SF; Comics; Shared Worlds; Taboos; Theatre.

Roger P Elwood

born Atlantic City, New Jersey: 13 January 1943

died Norfolk City, Virginia: 2 February 2007

works (selected)



other fiction

works as editor



individual titles


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